New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

A collage of three excerpts from a lawsuit against a gray background. The excerpts are highlighted to show the inappropriate comments made by Athletic Director Stuart Robinson.
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Ania Keenan, Features Editor • Sep 22, 2023
Protesters walk down University Place holding large signs that read ”N.Y.U. OWES ADJUNCTS” and “UNION POWER.”
University denies foul play after adjuncts’ courses changed
Ania Keenan, Features Editor • Sep 19, 2023

Historical Slang Terms That Deserve a Place in Modern Vernacular

These 17th and 18th-century words are too fun to be forgotten.
Certain historical slang terms may not be as outdated as they seem and should be incorporated into our vocabulary today. (Via Picryl)

Here’s the thing: people said things better in the past. Farting crackers? There is literally no better way to refer to pants. Allow me to narrate for you a scene of a typical Saturday night in this wonderful city: 

Everyone was drunk. Girls were wearing skirts instead of pants in February, which was surprising. But the dependable Josie’s Pub was a good end to the night.

Now try this:

Everyone was a bit rammaged and mab. The girls were wearing skirts instead of farting crackers in February. ‘Twas a true gapeseed! But the good ol’ Josie’s guinea-gold, ‘tis was the perfect place to enjoy a chirping-merry end to the night.

Wasn’t that so much more fun? The following are a few more wonderful words that should absolutely be reinstated in modern slang. 

Phrase: Brown study
Definition: Deep in thought
Example: “She was in brown study on the subway home last night.”

Phrase: Gapeseed
Definition: An astonishing sight
Example: “When I tried to register for classes, they were all full. What a gapeseed.”

Phrase: Barnacles
Definition: Glasses
Example: “His barnacles are from that second-hand shop. I don’t think they’re real Gucci.”

Phrase: Bawcock
Definition: A fine fellow
Example: “That Andy Hamilton is a bawcock!” 

Phrase: Eve’s custom house
Definition: Female genitalia
Example: “He didn’t know his way around Eve’s custom house.”  

Phrase: Hobbledygee
Definition: Somewhere between running and walking
Example: “The Uber pulled up on the other side of the street so I had to hobbledygee to get to it before the driver called me.”

Phrase: Milk the pigeon
Definition: Try to do the impossible
Example: “I’m milking the pigeon: writing my final paper less than two hours before it’s due.”

Phrase: Condiddle
Definition: To steal
Example: “She condiddled the fruit from outside Downstein, I swear.”

Phrase: Gallied
Definition: Over-tired
Example: “He’s gallied at Bobst right now — he had an 8 a.m. class and he lives in Gram.”

Phrase: Mopus
Definition: A stupid, dull person
Example: “According to Andy Hamilton, everyone that goes to Columbia is a mopus.”

Phrase: Pump ship
Definition: To urinate
Example: “Pump ship before we leave the house because every New York bathroom is disgusting.”

Phrase: Ebb-water
Definition: Lack of money
Example: “I’ve been hanging around Downstein for the past couple days begging first-years to swipe me in. I’m in a real ebb-water situation.”

Phrase: Heathen philosopher
Definition: A man whose pants are so ragged you can see the underwear through them
Example: “He’s a heathen philosopher, but I think it’s for style purposes.”

Phrase: Thorough-cough
Definition: Farting and coughing at the same time
Example: “She thorough-coughed in the middle of class.”

Phrase: Arse upward
Definition: In good luck
Example: “My roommate got me a coffee before my midterm arse upward.”

Email Izzy Salas at [email protected].

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